I suspect they wanted government funding to develop the transmission, and originally they were trying to compete with the Prius V, in which I think they would have succeeded if they weren't more worried about selling Focus and Escape. Plus the MPG overstatement, plus the 12V battery issue with the SE's. I have never had a 12V battery issue with the SEL until it was time to actually replace the 12V battery after 7 years.
7 years? I think the first CMAX's were built in Sept. 2012 and it's Aug. 2018 = 6 years. LOL You know I see CMAX's all the time now.